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NYT: Diplomats Help Push Deals For A And B  
User currently offlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4106 posts, RR: 5
Posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6206 times:

Thought this was an interesting read about the politics involved at a diplomatic level on some high profile orders.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/bu...ileaks-boeing.html?pagewanted=1&hp

Excerpt:

Quote:
The king of Saudi Arabia wanted the United States to outfit his personal jet with the same high-tech devices as Air Force One. The president of Turkey wanted the Obama administration to let a Turkish astronaut sit in on a NASA space flight. And in Bangladesh, the prime minister pressed the State Department to re-establish their landing rights at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Each of these government leaders had one thing in common: they were trying to decide whether to buy billions of dollars worth of commercial jets from Boeing or its European competitor, Airbus. And United States diplomats were acting like marketing agents, offering deals to heads of state and airline executives whose decisions could be influenced by price, performance and, as with all finicky customers with plenty to spend, perks. "


22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2601 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6013 times:
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Yes, a good article that really doesn't shine a new light on anything-----although I guess the amounts of baksheesh are larger these days. Sounds just like business as usual to me.


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5982 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 1):
Yes, a good article that really doesn't shine a new light on anything-----although I guess the amounts of baksheesh are larger these days. Sounds just like business as usual to me.

I agree - interesting, but nothing really new. Aircraft sales is unfortunately a business rife with political favors and outright corruption.

[Edited 2011-01-02 16:05:37]

User currently offlineEI1989 From Ireland, joined Dec 2010, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5955 times:

Well the political aspects of the aviation sector extend beyond mere sales and have been around for decades. The sector is seen as a key geo political sector and the importance of maintaining control of certain elements of it ( such as manufacturing and selling or even the right to fly certain routes) is demonstrated by the actions of US and the EU to name but the two big players. The Boeing/Airbus WTO dispute is illustrative of this as the commercial operations of two companies are interconnected with the political posturing of the US and the EU rather than being purely commercial conflicts.


The trouble with flying: We always have to return to airports.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5955 times:

Quoting FriendlySkies (Thread starter):
Thought this was an interesting read about the politics involved at a diplomatic level on some high profile orders

I hope nobody is surprised.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineBLUEWHALE18210 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5900 times:

Hardly surprising but still nice to see in plain language in print.
I remember CI used to take whatever the government told them to buy, or whatever the Taiwanese government bought and leased to them. At one time there are B747-200/400/SP, B737, B767, A300-600R, MD11, A340 in service with CI. All those types for a 40+ fleet.



JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
User currently offlineETinCaribe From Ethiopia, joined Dec 2009, 734 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5750 times:

Sure, nothing earth shattering but I personally did not know some of the specifics with the different carriers quoted in the article. In the real world that you and I live in, there are corruptors and there are corrupted and all levers are pulled when needed.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21627 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5621 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
I hope nobody is surprised.

Absolutely. I know it's asking a lot, but hopefully this can put to rest the whole A vs. B subsidy argument - the governments of both the US and Europe are helping out their respective manufacturers in one way or another, and they will almost definitely continue to do so.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13113 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5599 times:

Boeing and Airbus are the USA and certain EC countries one of the largest export product employers private companies. This is more about keeping the most number of jobs in the USA/Europe for important political reasons. You also have in the USA and some Euro countries strict limits or bans on commercial bribery or influence so using government muscle is critical. This kind of government dealing has been around for generations and will never go away.

User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6918 posts, RR: 63
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5520 times:

Three observations.

1. As BMI727 sensibly says, I hope nobody is surprised to learn this.

2. I hope it will shut up those who argue that Airbus are inclined to cheat while Boeing invariably play by the rules. (But I know it won't.)

3. I was intrigued by this quote: Said Tim Neale, a Boeing spokesman, “The way I look at it, it levels the playing field.” I wish someone had pushed him further on this. It seems an extraordinary comment. We all offer incentives ('bribes'?), exert political pressure and call in favours - and that levels the playing field?! Surely letting customers and companies buy and sell on merit would be more "level"? OK, that is almost impossible - agreed - but how can it be argued that selling a poor country a handful of jets cheap to buy their vote on a crucial UN vote is working on a level playing field?


(My own personal gripe is that Saudi Arabian were going to reward both the US and UK for kicking Saddam out of Kuwait by buying 777s with RR engines ... until a call was made from the White House. Not impressed.   )


User currently offlinetrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4768 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5315 times:
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Quoting BLUEWHALE18210 (Reply 5):
I remember CI used to take whatever the government told them to buy, or whatever the Taiwanese government bought and leased to them. At one time there are B747-200/400/SP, B737, B767, A300-600R, MD11, A340 in service with CI. All those types for a 40+ fleet.

The Taiwan CAA purchased 744s and MD11s which were then leased to CI. BR actually ended up complaining about this as they felt the lease was not at market rates and CI were made to purchase the planes and a legal battle over the price actually only ended a year or two ago between the government and CI.

IIRC the 767s were replaced by the A300B4s and never operated together at same time, or with only minimal overlap.

The A340s were purchased (instead of 777s) to replace the 747SPs and MD11s and chosen so etops was not an issue. CI did end up buying 21 744Fs to help "balance" the A343 purchase.

They went from 732 to A320 to 734 to 738!

B has been way too friendly to Beijing recently (they wouldn't even talk about offsets for the Apache Longbow deal with Taiwan till directed to do so by the Pentagon at a time when Sikorsky and Bell were tripping over themselves to send work to Taiwan for a deal) as B corporate saw an IDS deal with Taiwan might upset any BCA deal with mainland Chinese airlines so its not likely the Taiwan government will intervene in CI purchasing decisions in the future because of this and a more general hands off attitude on the running of CI. Which is why CI went A350 and not 787 - also not helped by B telling them no delivery slots till 2017 or later.


User currently offlineCentre From Canada, joined Mar 2010, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3877 times:

Did you guys forget about the Mulroney/Schriber Affair?
The PM of Canada was paid in CASH for his assistance in finishing the deal.

The Yamamah Affair comes to mind as well.

And lets not forget Sarkozy's visits upon negotiating/signing of deals except for Turkey of course  .



I have cut 4 times, and it's still short.
User currently offlinefanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1984 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3341 times:

Quoting PM (Reply 9):
Three observations.

1. As BMI727 sensibly says, I hope nobody is surprised to learn this.

2. I hope it will shut up those who argue that Airbus are inclined to cheat while Boeing invariably play by the rules. (But I know it won't.)

3. I was intrigued by this quote: Said Tim Neale, a Boeing spokesman, “The way I look at it, it levels the playing field.” I wish someone had pushed him further on this. It seems an extraordinary comment. We all offer incentives ('bribes'?), exert political pressure and call in favours - and that levels the playing field?! Surely letting customers and companies buy and sell on merit would be more "level"? OK, that is almost impossible - agreed - but how can it be argued that selling a poor country a handful of jets cheap to buy their vote on a crucial UN vote is working on a level playing field?

Yep, no matter where we live, we are blessed with the best government money can buy!



The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User currently offlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4014 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3239 times:

This is not even newsworthy. The headline is akin to saying some movie star passes gas. All countries do this, a lot!


Stop pop up ads
User currently offlineETinCaribe From Ethiopia, joined Dec 2009, 734 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3031 times:

Quoting incitatus (Reply 13):
This is not even newsworthy. The headline is akin to saying some movie star passes gas. All countries do this, a lot!

THe only thing is that usually Western countries tend to lecture Emerging countries on this... turns out they do similar things to win the business. To some extent, we are all Banana Republics, just different pricepoints and euphemisms to describe influence, IMHO.


User currently offlineBoeingVista From Australia, joined Jan 2009, 1580 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2958 times:

Quoting incitatus (Reply 13):
This is not even newsworthy. The headline is akin to saying some movie star passes gas. All countries do this, a lot!

I disagree, it is worth mentioning if only to stop the A.net snipping at Merkle and Sarkozy for their global A380 sales tours, all countries do it especially the US of A.

But like most wikileaks stuff its something we (should) already know, just some people need to see it officially confirmed before they will believe it.



BV
User currently offlineyellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 6171 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2861 times:

This doesn't jsut happen in aviation. It happens in Pharmaceutical, Technology, Retail, Energy, Auto...even Agricultural companies do this all over the world and even in the USA!

I bribe takes many names....and it is truly the norm.



When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
User currently offlineBoeingVista From Australia, joined Jan 2009, 1580 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2691 times:

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 16):
This doesn't jsut happen in aviation. It happens in Pharmaceutical, Technology, Retail, Energy, Auto...even Agricultural companies do this all over the world and even in the USA!

A bribe takes many names....and it is truly the norm.

I think that this is the main secret that "they" - the powers that be - are trying to supress, couruption is endemic in every country and big business owns your government.



BV
User currently offlineflood From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1381 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2507 times:

flightglobal goes into more detail on Gulf Air's 787s:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/fl...vcablegate-us-state-departmen.html

Quoting PM (Reply 9):

1. As BMI727 sensibly says, I hope nobody is surprised to learn this.

Hardly surprising, but intriguing nonetheless.

Quoting PM (Reply 9):
Said Tim Neale, a Boeing spokesman, “The way I look at it, it levels the playing field.” I wish someone had pushed him further on this.

Same here... guess they can drop their case to "level the playing field" at the WTO  


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2380 times:

Quoting flood (Reply 18):
flightglobal goes into more detail on Gulf Air's 787s:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/fl....html

Interesting article...

At least we can be sure no reason for an A vs B war:

"France made a last-minute manoeuvre when French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the Bahrain King to say he would add Bahrain to his regional tour on the condition Gulf Air would purchase 21 Airbus aircraft.

On 13 January 2008 Gulf Air and Boeing signed the order for 16 787s, valued at $6 billion at list prices. France dropped Sarkozy's visit after hearing the Boeing purchase would proceed."


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2630 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2300 times:

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 19):
At least we can be sure no reason for an A vs B war:

"France made a last-minute manoeuvre when French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the Bahrain King to say he would add Bahrain to his regional tour on the condition Gulf Air would purchase 21 Airbus aircraft.

On 13 January 2008 Gulf Air and Boeing signed the order for 16 787s, valued at $6 billion at list prices. France dropped Sarkozy's visit after hearing the Boeing purchase would proceed."

Once again not surprising. Sarko never leaves a foreign country without first having sold a few Airbus a/c, Eurocopter helicopters, Areva nuclear reactors or Alstom TGV trains  


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2288 times:

... or a few barrels of Bordeaux if the all the rest fails...

User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2091 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2085 times:

What the article does say, although it is not a surprise to anyone, is that Wikileaks put in black and white specific instances where diplomatic influence and horse trading were involved in commercial business deals. This has always been suspected and the cables only confirm it.
Quoting ETinCaribe (Reply 14):
THe only thing is that usually Western countries tend to lecture Emerging countries on this... turns out they do similar things to win the business. To some extent, we are all Banana Republics, just different pricepoints and euphemisms to describe influence, IMHO.

The world is really controlled by big business interests. Governments are just agencies to serve them. Little else really has much influence these days.


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